First of all, we at The Mane Land would like to wish our readers a very happy Thanksgiving. We’re pretty sure the pilgrims accidentally invented soccer when some oaf accidentally knocked the turkey onto the floor and then kicked it when he bent over to try to pick it up. This, of course, led to a diving save by a Native American, who kept the turkey from rolling into the fireplace.
The world’s most popular sport was born.
In addition to all of the usual things in your personal life, there are many things to be thankful for as an Orlando City fan this year, and there have never been more. With that in mind, we thought we’d give you a reminder of the top things Lions fans should be thankful for as we near the end of 2014.
We’re going to MLS
Sure, it was announced last year, but we get closer to playing MLS games every day. We’ve got the MLS Expansion Draft coming up and the front office is busy scouting and negotiating with players all over the world in their efforts to build an MLS squad. Orlando City is about to enter its first season in the sport’s top flight in the U.S. (and Canada). It’s all happening. As much as we enjoyed our stay in USL Pro, I, for one, am quite thankful to be going to the biggest league in the country.
Our club loves us as much as we love it
Personified by founder and president Phil Rawlins, Orlando City is a business run like a family, and it has all of the hallmarks of a very close and loving family. The club supports the city and its fans like few other sports enterprises in this country. I have worked in sports both at the minor league and major league levels and I have rarely seen a team run in such a manner. It’s very easy to support a club that embraces its city like the Lions do.
Orlando City isn’t content just to participate in MLS
Every team pays lip service to the fans by saying it wants to win. With Orlando City, we’ve already seen the commitment to having on-field success. It goes beyond winning five major USL Pro trophies in four years.
The team has shown its willingness to become competitive immediately, shelling out more than $7 million per year to bring in the most decorated player ever to sign an MLS contract, in the person of Kaka. The Brazilian may not be the same player he was when he captured the Ballon d’Or, but he still possesses world class skill and a sharp mind for the game. He will be successful. The club also made a deal to grab a legitimate goalkeeper in Tally Hall. We don’t know exactly what moves will come next, but we know the Lions are serious about putting talent on the field for Adrian Heath to manage.
The Lions do things right
From the gorgeous uniform unveiling to the street party disguised as a stadium groundbreaking, Orlando City doesn’t seem to make a misstep. A great deal of thought goes into everything, down to the tiniest detail. It’s like what would happen if Steve Jobs ran a sports team. Putting the supporters clubs’ mottos inside the jerseys? Check. Keeping the old logo near to the players’ hearts by sewing it inside the new kit? You got it. Everything is done with forethought and great attention to detail. That’s a foundation for success.
There are plenty of other reasons to be thankful for Orlando City this holiday season. What are some of yours? Please share them in the comments section below.